No Chance of President Mike Pence in 2024: GOP Ex-Communications Chief

A former Republican communications director has said there is no chance that former Vice President Mike Pence will become the next president of the United States.

Tara Setmayer, who is now a senior adviser at conservative group The Lincoln Project, said in an op-ed published on NBC News' website on Thursday that Pence's break with former President Donald Trump has doomed his White House ambitions.

Pence served as Trump's vice president for four years but refused to reject Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021, saying he did not have the power to do so. He later broke with Trump publicly on the issue and said the former president was "wrong."

Setmayer, who was communications director for Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher for seven years, described Pence's criticism of Trump as a "cardinal sin" and that Pence could "kiss 2024 goodbye."

She pointed to speculation about a potential Pence presidential bid—his recent public appearances and speeches have hinted at a return to electoral politics.

"Let's be honest, my cat, Tiki, has a better chance of becoming president than Pence," Setmayer wrote.

Setmayer noted that it had once been considered normal to expect a vice president to run for president and win their party's nomination, but that Trump had "destroyed all sense of political norms."

President Joe Biden is the most recent example of a vice president running for the White House, though he did not run in 2016 while he was still in office. The last vice president to run for the nation's top job while in office was Al Gore in 2000.

"Political norms aren't the only things left in tatters in Trump's destructive wake," Setmayer went on. "You can add Pence's political career right on top of the ash heap alongside constitutional, democratic and institutional norms."

"Why? He committed a cardinal sin by today's GOP standards: He rebuked Trump and did so publicly," she wrote.

Setmayer was referring to Pence's actions on January 6, 2021 and also mentioned a speech he delivered at a Federalist Society event in Florida on February 4 of this year, where he directly addressed Trump's claims that he could have overturned the 2020 election in his role overseeing the certification of Electoral College votes.

Pence said: "This week, our former president said I had the right to 'overturn the election.' President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president."

Those remarks earned a stern rebuke from Trump, who issued a statement arguing that Pence should have sent Electoral College votes back to state legislatures and saying: "I was right and everyone knows it."

Most legal experts agree that the vice president does not have that power and Pence's role on January 6, 2021 was largely ceremonial.

Setmayer said in her article that Pence had now made himself persona non grata to Trump and "his millions of dedicated MAGA followers."

"Unfortunately for Pence, there is no viable path to the GOP nomination without them," Setmayer wrote.

She went on to say that to Trump supporters, Pence "is as much of a traitor as the Never Trumpers for not going along with the 'big lie'" of election fraud.

Newsweek has asked Mike Pence's office for comment.

Pence Speaks at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner
Former Vice President Mike Pence addresses the GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on June 3, 2021 in Manchester, New Hampshire. A former GOP communications director has said Pence has little chance of becoming president. Scott Eisen/Getty Images